It’s been ten long years, but Los Angeles underground legend Nipsey Hussle has finally dropped his first major label album, Victory Lap.
Not content with simply filling the tracklist with throwaways, Hussle took care and time to craft a cohesive project and it shows. Opening with the title track, the dedication the MC-businessman put into creating the collection is already evident by his choice of collaborator — singer-songwriter Stacy Barthe, a fellow longtime fixture of the Los Angeles music scene who has played songwriting secret weapon for industry heavy hitters from Britney Spears to Rihanna.
Nipsey’s powerful singles “Rap N—-as” and “Last Time That I Checc’d” follow, telling you exactly where he’s coming from and where he’s going. Sprinkling equal parts hood philosophy and business advice throughout some of the sharpest bars of career, Hussle runs the gamut of sounds from operatic street anthems to upbeat G-Funk bangers.
His lyrical advice is especially compelling in light of his recent comments about knowing your revenue from respective streams where he compared royalties from services like Apple Music and Tidal. He also brings in one of the original hip-hop businessmen, the Forbes Hip-Hop Cash King list-topping Sean Combs (credited here as “Puff Daddy(!)”) to rail off some big money talk. It’s a big moment for both, but just seeing Nipsey finally complete the early phase of his career with a co-sign from one of the first moguls in rap is like icing on a very sweet cake.
Listen to Victory Lap below.